$47 million a year on Govt “spin doctors”

January 20th, 2008 at 12:11 pm by David Farrar

The SST reports on how in just five years the number of communications staff working for the Government has increased from 210 to 448, with heir wage bill alone growing to $47 million.

But remember if you wish to criticise the Government in a way which could encourage people not to vote for them, you have to register once you spend $12,000, and yes that includes the cost of any staff who work on producing your message.

No tag for this post.

65 Responses to “$47 million a year on Govt “spin doctors””

  1. Tane (344 comments) says:

    Of course, communications staff working in government departments are by definition not allowed to electioneer – they communicate government entitlements like KiwiSaver and campaigns like the current one against domestic violence. This article was little more than a National Party beatup.

    [DPF: Yes but such campaigns have a beneficial effect on the governing party. Look at the WFF ads which show the nice family with ipods talking about the extra money they can get etc etc. An ad does not have to be electioneeering to help the Government. And Labour claims their pledge card wasn’t electioneering, so the line between electioneering and communications is very very thin]

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  2. poneke (255 comments) says:

    Again though, this is a lazy story written from material provided by a political party. It comes from answers to written parliamentary questions, and could have been written without party filtering by any journalist who bothered to look up the written answers webpage. There is a goldmine of stories in the written questions site, but they only see daylight when they are handed to the press gallery on a plate as a press release.

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Debates/QWA/

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  3. Zippy Gonzales (462 comments) says:

    Does anyone see the irony of the Duty Minister refusing to answer questions directly, getting a spokesman to face up instead?

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  4. Whaleoil (650 comments) says:

    Tāne the Governments Duty Blogger spins like an Indian Cricket team.

    Why don’t you declare where you get your funding from?

    Who are the hollow men behind your blog?

    How come you don’t declare your previous jobs and current jobs before spinning the government lines?

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  5. Tane (344 comments) says:

    <i>Yes but such campaigns have a beneficial effect on the governing party. Look at the WFF ads which show the nice family with ipods talking about the extra money they can get etc etc. An ad does not have to be electioneeering to help the Government.</i>

    Naturally advertising of government policies will benefit the government, that’s how it’s always been and always will be. But it’s not electioneering. Citizens have a right to know their entitlements, and campaigns like the ones against domestic violence and driving while asleep at the wheel are both apolitical and socially necessary.

    Can you give us some examples of particularly egregious government advertising that’s ever prompted a third party to spend more than $120,000 countering it, and in a way that tells people which way to vote? I suspect you’re making an issue out of something that’s never been a problem in the past.

    Whale: I don’t and never have worked for the government or been a member of the Labour Party, nor have I ever even voted for them. One reason I don’t give out my personal details is because brownshirted thugs like yourself seem to think it’s a good idea to stalk and intimidate their political opponents.

    http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/?q=content/state-housing-1-john-minto

    [DPF: Of course some advertising is necessary and helpful. But under this Govt there has been a massive increase so that the comms staff cost $50 million a year and the ad buy has increased to $100 million a year or so. And the WFF ads were a great example of propoganda. Only 20% of families were eligible to receive them, so they should have done targeted advertising such as direct mail rather than TV ads targeting all families.

    Teacher unions have in the past spent more than $120K opposing bulk funding for example]

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  6. Whaleoil (650 comments) says:

    Not bad Tāne the Governments Duty Blogger, you only managed to answer one out of three questions.

    John Minto’s details are a matter of public record including the photo of his house. Quite where you get the slanderous idea that it is stalking to draw attention of a socialist’s hypocritical stance regarding property rights when he is a land owner and landlord himself is beyond me. But hey by all means continue to slander and denigrate when it is the message you don’t like.

    Just wait till I get to hypocrites who supported the EFA and claim free speech was important to them over an industrial dispute.

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  7. 3-coil (1,199 comments) says:

    Taane – whaleoils 12:36 questions are quite valid, why don’t you answer them?

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  8. Tane (344 comments) says:

    Because, 3-coil, Whale knows perfectly well that a blog costs nothing to run. He’s just a creep who needs to resort to personal attacks (and in Minto’s case stalking and intimidation) when he can’t argue the issue at hand, and that’s not something I’m going to indulge.

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  9. Whaleoil (650 comments) says:

    Tāne the Governments Duty Blogger: come on you can do better than that.

    At least I don’t base all my arguments on stolen emails in a book written from the fantasy dreams of a Hollow writer.

    Now once again to prove you are not as hollow as your arguments why don’t you tell us;

    a)Who pays the Standards bills? (Yes I know exactly how much a blog costs to runs and it is more than nothing)

    b)Who are the hollow men behind the hollow bloggers pseudonyms? It goes to credibility, much the same argument you use to decry the Herald’s publishing of any article written by someone who isn’t a Labour party apparatchik.

    Failure to answer those questions on behalf of you fellow bloggers begs the question Who exactly is behind the Standard? Are they as Hollow as they seem?

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  10. Sushi Goblin (419 comments) says:

    Well now that we’ve got Tane of The Standard telling us that a blog costs nothing to run, perhaps he and his ilk will knock off with the slander of DPF they have been engaging in, claiming that somehow David Farrar is paid to run Kiwiblog for the National Party.

    It’s also very interesting that Tane seems to think its ok there has been an explosion in the number of spin doctors to promote government policy.

    Tell me Tane, do you think its ok for a government department to make use of its financial resources to promote a certain policy line? Is it ok then for a corporate to also make use of its resources in much the same way? Why not then an individual?

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  11. Tane (344 comments) says:

    I’m sorry Whale but your conspiracy theories aren’t really worth a response. There are no ‘Hollow Men’ pulling strings, I don’t receive any income from blogging, nor does a blog cost anything more than registration and hosting to run ($50 startup, then about $10 a month). It’s a silly little crusade you’ve embarked on here Whale.

    Your use of the term “Governments [sic] Duty Blogger” is an insight into your deranged mind. It’s as if anyone who opposes you and your filth in a robust manner must be part of a great government conspiracy. Much like your recent posts asking whether NZ is on the verge of a coup, and multiple comparisons of the current political situation in NZ to 1930s Germany.

    Try to drop the conspiracy theories and debate the issues for once, eh? It’s getting tiring.

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  12. Sushi Goblin (419 comments) says:

    Tane, you get/did get an income from the EPMU, who is closely allied to Labour. Given that there’s been tissue paper between EPMU policy advocacy and official Labour Party policy, it’s only fair (indeed compellingly obvious to most) to suggest you are clearly up for a bit of pro bono work for the cause. Perhaps the EPMU turns a blind eye to whats actually done on the staff computers – 4 hours blogging and 4 hours for the union for a full days work.

    Nice work if you can get it huh?

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  13. Tane (344 comments) says:

    Sushi, I’m actually pretty skeptical on how much is spent on communications people, but without a thorough study into what each one of them is doing it’s hard to say with any certainty whether there are too many. This article certainly didn’t shed any light on that. But that’s not the point. The key assumption behind this article was that government communications spending is electioneering – it’s not.

    You’re also wrong on your other point: corporations can spend as much as they like on advertising, the only restriction is that they can’t spend more than $120,000 each on telling people how to vote.

    As for my place of employment, you have no idea where I work and given the creepy threats I’ve had from others on the blogosphere I’m glad that’s the case. There are plenty of valid reasons why one might want to post anonymously, but the bile and threats I get from many on the right is reason enough for me.

    In any case, I’m off to enjoy the sun. That’s my paid government blogging over for the day (12pm-1.30pm shift). Sonic should be here for the 1.30-3.00 any minute.

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  14. Ross Miller (1,618 comments) says:

    Tane … how about focusing on the question to hand rather than running interference.

    Pray tell … just how does increasing the number of spin doctors by 210% with the job of peddling so called ‘good news’ stories (read government propaganda) add one ‘tuppney bit’ to the nations wellbeing? How does it improve the countries competitiveness which has now slipped to 24th in the world rankings (our lowest ever)? How does this stop our best a brightest turning their back on NZ to work in high wage economies?

    To answer the question for you … they don’t.

    But I forget. You’ret one of them

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  15. Sushi Goblin (419 comments) says:

    Well Tane, I was under the impression you worked for the EPMU for most of last year, and I assume you still do since it would be easy for you to simply say “I DO NOT WORK FOR THE EPMU”.

    You say there is a key assumption whether communications people are electioneering – well they certainly are promoting government policy, which lets face it, helps the government of the day regardless of whether they are red or blue. If someone is being paid by the taxpayer to promote a Labour driven policy, there sure as heck is a benefit for Labour.

    I just wonder why it’s ok for the government to more than double the number of paid hacks to promote government policy, but the same government can bring in limits on individuals and businesses telling people how to get rid of the same policy.

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  16. RossK (157 comments) says:

    DPF’s slant may have been on election advertising but the more interesting point is the growth of bureaucracy. It is almost like government believes we can’t live without it looking over our shoulder.

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  17. Jum (137 comments) says:

    Please tell me what National will do with all their spindoctors?

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  18. Graeme Edgeler (2,972 comments) says:

    Tane: “You’re also wrong on your other point: corporations can spend as much as they like on advertising, the only restriction is that they can’t spend more than $120,000 each on telling people how to vote.

    Depends.
    If it’s an electorate contest the limit’s $4000.
    If they’re foreign corporation the limit’s $12,000/$1000.
    If they want to speak without giving out their home address, the limit is $12,000.
    If they want to tell people how to vote, by encouraging votes for a party/candidate, then the limit is $0.

    etc.

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  19. Whaleoil (650 comments) says:

    Tāne tells fibs again.

    He has two choices and they really are mutually exclusive.

    One Tumeke he was whining about the ranking the Sub-Standard got and was claiming he had traffic figures way inexcess of my “poorly read” blog.

    On this thread he claims it costs $10 a month to host the sub-Standard.

    Now there isn’t a plan known to man for $10 a month that would cope with the traffic figures he claims. I know because no $10 plan in the US or anywhere else could cope with the “pitifully” small amount of traffic that I get. Certainly no NZ hosting $10 plan would cope with Tāne’s claimed traffic.

    So either Tāne, government duty blogger has dreadfully inflated his traffic statistics or lied about how much the sub-Standard costs to host.

    Of course there is another question raised. It may indeed cost Tāne $10 per month to host his site, but what is the real cost and who are the Hollow men behind the subsidy on his hosting?

    Tāne’s denials and obfuscations raise more questions than they answer.

    How about some transparency Tāne?

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  20. kehua (58 comments) says:

    Way to go Whale. sic im boy sic im .

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  21. Lee C (2,720 comments) says:

    On top of which, the people who are paid to disseminate the information are also subject to government pressure /sackings/victimisation/special protection by ministers.

    Pop quiz; who can name four individuals who have proven the last assertion in the past 12 months?

    re the EPMU and use of paid time to support the government – it is not accounted for, nor was it ever intended to be by the Government or the uninonns throughout the EFA debate. –

    Second pop-quiz: Why?

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  22. Jum (137 comments) says:

    Answer my question

    What will National do with all its spindoctors?

    [DPF: Well they only have four or five of them. If they win, I guess they’ll get payrises!]

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  23. Sushi Goblin (419 comments) says:

    Jum, you might like to direct your question to the National Party. Except in the feverish nightmares of Tane plus others from the left-wing blogs, there aren’t any National spokespeople here who are responsible for answering your demands.

    However, I sincerely hope they would say “We intend to take a good look at the increased level of middle management, communications, public relations, research into banal matters and similar staff in government departments and parliamentary services and reduce these numbers if their positions aren’t required or justified”.

    Particularly in the health sector. If more health dollars could be freed up by DHBs for operations from the reduction of activities like PR and “Maori Cultural Reviews” and pay for hip operations, we ought to seriously consider it.

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  24. milo (153 comments) says:

    I would like to see a statement from the EPMU on their membership webpage that explains that the membership dues go, in part, to support the Labour party. It is completely absent. If they were a business, they couldn’t get away with this.

    Why don’t they come clean to members, and prospective members? It might be well known to you and me that this is what happens to the funds, but the average union member is joining because they are the kind of people who need protection against exploitation from entrenched interests. Instead, their membership is exploited to provide entrenched support for Labour, and they aren’t even told that this is part of the deal when they join up. Why not? Is the EPMU ashamed to tell prospective members the truth?

    What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. This looks like entrenched dishonesty to me.

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  25. Lee C (2,720 comments) says:

    Of course, communications staff working in government departments are by definition not allowed to electioneer – they communicate government entitlements like KiwiSaver and campaigns like the current one against domestic violence. This article was little more than a National Party beatup.

    Tell it to Setchell

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  26. Jum (137 comments) says:

    Thank you for your reply Sushi. My question was a request, not a demand.

    Having seen your posts, it is obvious you are not objective but I have read your suggestions to National and a couple of them sound reasonable.

    But, would they include sacking the Working for Families communicators, the Domestic Violence communicators, the Youth Gang communicators?

    As you can imagine, in the last decade, the communications in all individual media (that is individual Kiwis) has exploded. Many blogs are simply started to destroy the Government and the government has to continually explain itself. I see nothing wrong in that. It is right that they should.

    Other communication bases like Breakfast for example host Helen Clark on Monday mornings and John Key on Wednesday mornings. Helen Clark has fronted up every Monday morning since she became Prime Minister, unless she has been out of the country, to explain her Government’s actions. That is the first time any Prime Minister has fronted up to his/her country to explain their Government’s actions.

    I’ve always been rather impressed by that.

    This is the century of communications. I do not believe for one minute that National will reduce its communications department. For all that they are accusing Labour, they will also have to explain their actions if they achieve the front benches. The question then is do they have enough regard for Kiwis to bother.

    But, my next question is, if they DID sack the communications staff, what would they do with those people? I assume it would be the unemployment line. Then what would they do? Back to Murray McCully to suggest they turn up and queue for employers to employ them on one day jobs at Take Note (was NZ Post) as he suggested in the 90s? He is still a valued member of the National team.

    I’m sure you can sense my cynicism here, Sushi.

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  27. Sushi Goblin (419 comments) says:

    Jum,

    If Labour wish to defend their policies, they should use more of their own resources. I think there is a fine line between defending a departmental policy or position, versus having the department promote Labour policy. We see this line being crossed recently with examples of Labour Ministers hiring or firing PR people inside departments who are supposed to be independent. I don’t have a problem with Labour, National or any other party hiring their own people for parliamentary positions since these sorts of positions are far more political by nature.

    I also don’t see the proliferation of communications people into taxpayer funded jobs as solving unemployment issues. If there is excessive employment of PR people, then let’s be honest enough with ourselves to say we don’t need so many, and therefore some should go.

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  28. reid (16,700 comments) says:

    Jum, “That is the first time any Prime Minister has fronted up to his/her country to explain their Government’s actions.”

    Maybe you don’t remember Muldoon’s “Orchids and other things” Sunday talk-back radio show?

    Socialists seem to be obsessed with spin – Goebbels was a past-master of course, and all the communist regimes devoted great resources to building on what he taught them. Clark, having taken lessons from Alistair Campbell was assiduous in her early days but the wheels seem to be falling off a bit now. However, all of the tactics Liabore has used are right out of his playbook.

    Maybe it’s because socialist policies are so lousy you think its essential – lipstick on a pig kinda thing. Personally I think it’s because you’re so self-righteous and underhand that anything will do to keep you in power, regardless of whether it’s the “right” thing to do.

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  29. tim barclay (547 comments) says:

    There is an inverse relationship between the number of spin doctors and the popularity of the Government. As popularity falls the number of spin doctors rises. Even the most die hard Labour supporter, and I know a few, do not expect Helen Clark to win the nest election. And when one launches into an attack on the EFA they just nod sagely and say it could have been better handled.

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  30. Jum (137 comments) says:

    No Reid

    Reid – You have David Goebbels Farrar. When you start chucking sentences about communism at me I know that you are far down the intelligence meter and when you start insulting me personally, I know that you are part of the toxic National Government spin department. Obviously, Sushi wasn’t being truthful. So Reid, what will you do with all your spin doctors?

    My apologies on Muldoon. I didn’t know. What did he talk about?

    [DPF: And that is 20 demerits for sheer unoriginality]

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  31. baxter (753 comments) says:

    Its especially disconcerting that the OwenGlen Liabour Goverment sacks any spin doctor that is even remotely connected to a National Party associate and replaces them with Liabour collaboraters handpicked by ministers.

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  32. Sushi Goblin (419 comments) says:

    Linking DPF with a prominent Nazi is probably grounds for a permanent ban on this blog. If I were you I’d think about a retraction and apology.

    Nice knowing you jum.

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  33. ZenTiger (375 comments) says:

    One of the problems with the EFA was that the public never had any meaningful opportunity to contribute to a wider range of issues to “level the playing field”. The very important issue of the Government spending money in an election year to advertise policy, for example.

    The government has, since Labour came into power many more spin doctors to ‘inform us’. Apparently, they will spend $60 million dollars this year on tax payer funded advertising. That’s a lot of money.

    What if government spending on advertising policy 3 months before an election was suspended? After all, if the government changes, so might the policies, and all that money was wasted. That doesn’t stop them issuing press releases, so they still have a lot of effect.

    This is not a Labour vs National issue. This is about the public having a better deal. The EFA gives the incumbent party a big advantage. If National win, Labour may come to regret their hasty action. The public have already expressed such regret even knowing this may serve National in the election after this one. We still campaigned for a better process and a better law. We were scorned, ridiculed and marginalised.

    I hope the wider public take notice of this.

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  34. Paul M. (22 comments) says:

    Whale – it’s actually quite easy to see why The Standard reckons it costs nothing to run their blog, and, of course, who *really* pays for the blog.

    http://www.thestandard.org.nz is hosted on a server at 202.74.226.119

    A WHOIS on that IP address gives us:

    inetnum: 202.74.226.112 – 202.74.226.127
    netname: LABOURPARTY1-2DAY-NZ
    descr: New Zealand Labour Party
    country: NZ

    Oh dear.

    It appears their server is hosted on an IP block purchased by THE NZ LABOUR PARTY from 2Day. Personally I’d find it incredibly unlikely for Labour to pay to put up a “blog” with comments from what would appear to be professional comms people (“spindoctors” posting propaganda) without said comms people also being paid by Labour, or perhaps one of their Labour-affiliated member unions.

    Oh, but it’s not electioneering! Honest…

    So, Tane, care to answer Whale’s questions?

    Is your blog paid for by Labour, or is it actually paid for by the taxpayer like most other Labour adverts? And are you paid by Labour, the taxpayer, or one of Labour’s member unions (irrespective of what your “official” front job is)?

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  35. Fred (137 comments) says:

    “Naturally advertising of government policies will benefit the government, that’s how it’s always been and always will be. But it’s not electioneering. Citizens have a right to know their entitlements,”

    True, but why would the means of informing them be through an advertising campaign, if say, you were entitled to WFF then surely the IRD should simply send you the refund, it’s the “oh look what we are doing” factor that’s wrong.

    “and campaigns like the ones against domestic violence and driving while asleep at the wheel are both apolitical and socially necessary.”

    Socially necessary? The idea that the people doing these things will change their ways as a result of a TV ad is dubious. If it’s truly socially necessary why not go the whole hog and introduce “behaviour modification camps” and use a full array of drugs & tools. Wonder if this has been tried before somewhere?

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  36. reid (16,700 comments) says:

    Jum,

    Muldoon on his radio show talked about orchids and other things – he was very keen on his orchids. He also explained why his government was doing what it was, at the time.

    In terms of your suggestion I may be one of the members of the “toxic National Government spin department” I can say that I’m not, never have been and don’t imagine I ever will be employed the National Party, but I congratulate you on your prescience in predicting that National will indeed be the leader of the next Government. Are you going to tell Helen or shall I? I thought socialists shot traitors to the cause, but perhaps Helen’s will be more benevolent than Chairman Mao. Let’s hope so. GL.

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  37. Jum (137 comments) says:

    Sushi

    I said ‘explain’ their actions. I did not say ‘defend’. Wanting to stop domestic violence and the proliferation of youth gangs and to get money to the people who need it most, does not need defending. It needs congratulating.

    As far as communication expenses go, our Prime Minister does not charge for personal appearances. She does it as part of her Prime Ministerial responsibility to us, and that mixed in with the continual fronting up to people all over New Zealand, during her years as Leader.

    I’m also sure that if Kiwis wanted an answer from the Government and the Government said, “our office is open again on Tuesday when our part timer comes in”, Kiwis would be less than impressed.

    It’s great to see Kiwis questioning Government – they woke up from their rose coloured sleep after Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson shafted them.

    There has to be a good service in Government to answer their queries. Every time I have sent in a question, it has been firstly acknowledged and then answered. Personally, I would assume that you hire a person to do a job. End of story.

    I also know that Kiwis want a country where everyone has a job and is able to reach for their goals. Hopefully, you and I would agree on that at least. Hence, every time National says throw this out, throw that out, close this down, sell that off, I see the unemployment queue growing and I look back at the 90s. That is why I always think ‘unemployment’, followed by ‘unemployment = cheap labour’.

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  38. reid (16,700 comments) says:

    “As far as communication expenses go, our Prime Minister does not charge for personal appearances.”

    Who the hell would pay anything anyway?

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  39. John Dalley (314 comments) says:

    Jum. National is going to sack all the spin doctors and if in Government next time will release no promotion of the policies that they impliment, won’t tell people if they may be due a tax cut and how much and will last preciesly one term as no-one will know what they stand for.
    Tui moment. Yeah Right.
    Off course they are going to do exactly what Labour does now, spend money promoting their policies in the hope they will get a 2nd term.

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  40. Peak Oil Conspiracy (2,427 comments) says:

    Jum:

    Still no retraction of the nasty smear in your 5:25 comment? You didn’t manage to skip over Sushi Goblin’s helpful suggestion (If I were you I’d think about a retraction and apology – 5:39) did you?

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  41. vto (713 comments) says:

    government rich, people poor

    government rich, people poor

    government rich, people poor

    government rich, people poor

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  42. Jum (137 comments) says:

    Reid

    Very clever and witty but extreme spin you have put on my mention of toxic National ‘government’ spin, as it really covers them past and possibly future. But, if you want to own one part of the sentence you must also accept the rest of the sentence, “National ‘government’ being toxic and spinners of toxins”.

    Early last year was the only time I was thinking Kiwis might be sucked in by National ‘government’ spin; now I have no such qualms. I’ve seen and read the support base for National. Now I know Labour will win and will be a strong and compassionate government.

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  43. Sushi Goblin (419 comments) says:

    The only thing toxic here jum is you using the name of a top nazi to smear a liberal part Jewish blogger

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  44. reid (16,700 comments) says:

    “Hence, every time National says throw this out, throw that out, close this down, sell that off, I see the unemployment queue growing and I look back at the 90s.”

    So this is the same 90’s which designed the economic settings which Lairbore inherited, since which it has changed nothing significant except for industrial relations (and look what’s happened there and what’s waiting to happen once Liabore exits)? Or is that a different 90’s?

    I’ve often wondered how Liarbore can claim credit for the economic results it has fortuitously experienced when they have been a result of international conditions completely unrelated to anything Liabore have done. In fact when you look at Liarbore’s record (increase in spending, inflation, etc) they’ve created conditions that will have huge negative consequences for the incoming govt. The worst thing is that is Cullen hasn’t even followed the Keynesian model which he so admires, which is to manage govt spending against the tide: save when it’s good, spend when it’s bad. Instead, he’s spent for short-term political reasons, and who cares what the effects on the future are. That’s the govt you appear to support Jum, can’t understand why.

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  45. Jum (137 comments) says:

    # Sushi Goblin Says:
    January 20th, 2008 at 5:39 pm
    Linking DPF with a prominent Nazi is probably grounds for a permanent ban on this blog. If I were you I’d think about a retraction and apology.
    Nice knowing you jum.

    Sushi,
    When Reid ranted at me about Goebbels and Communism, he demonstrated what this site is all about – toxic rubbish.

    Obviously, you have no problem with Reid attacking me using Goebbels, but I can’t use the same Goebbels in my post.

    If I had any say Nazis wouldn’t be allowed on this site, in this country, in this world. But it appears that Nazi like methods are being used here, witness your one sided attacks.

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  46. Jum (137 comments) says:

    Sushi

    Since DPF is part Jewish I will remove what would obviously be a nasty remark,

    and I will attach it to you and refer you to my last post, which is the better choice.

    Don’t imagine your attacks on me will ever make me feel bad when I witness every day the constant battering by you and your mates against all the parts of New Zealand I love best.

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  47. reid (16,700 comments) says:

    “Don’t imagine your attacks on me will ever make me feel bad when I witness every day the constant battering by you and your mates against all the parts of New Zealand I love best.”

    Take one for the cause eh Jum? What a brave, brave, brave s/he you are. Sniff.

    I was merely referring to the fact that Goebbels as a facist was part of your ilk, just like the commies are. Some socialists don’t even know the connection, some just disingenuously deny it as if it doesn’t exist, but it’s there. It has to do with whether you believe in big govt or small govt. Socialists believe the bigger the problem the bigger the govt solution needs to be. Conservatives believe the govt should be smaller and in many cases applying free choice will address the problem. Facism and communism are both big govt solutions.

    Sorry to point out the truth, I certainly didn’t mean for you to be offended by it.

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  48. Jum (137 comments) says:

    # Peak Oil Conspiracy Says:
    January 20th, 2008 at 6:20 pm
    Jum:
    Still no retraction of the nasty smear in your 5:25 comment? You didn’t manage to skip over Sushi Goblin’s helpful suggestion (If I were you I’d think about a retraction and apology – 5:39) did you?

    Peak Oil – Just spotted you. Refer to comments

    reid Says:
    January 20th, 2008 at 5:03 pm –
    began ranting at my perfectly acceptable post with comments about Goebbels and Communists and socialists all lumped in with lipstick on pigs. When people attack me I have a right to defend myself. When I realised I had probably hurt DPF I retracted my remark. I’m on this site to get honest opinions and yet people are so toxic. I will get toxic back and quite frankly I don’t enjoy the whole experience very much.

    If this is a site for just National supporters to say what they like, and in the nastiest way, then say so and I will vacate.

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  49. reid (16,700 comments) says:

    OK Jum, I withdraw and apologise. Seriously. Just try not to be so biased.

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  50. Tane (344 comments) says:

    G’day PaulM, no our blog is not being paid for by Labour or the taxpayer, nor do any of us derive an income from it – quite the opposite.

    We set The Standard up as an independent left-wing blog in August last year. As you probably remember by about November our traffic had got so large our server was crashing every day, sometimes for hours at a time. We put out a call and at the end of last year someone from Labour emailed us and offered us some temporary server space until we worked something out.

    It’s not the ideal solution I admit, but as a temporary measure it sure beats having your site down for hours at a time during peak hours. We’ll probably have some new hosting sorted some time within the next month. Don’t fret though Paul, it hasn’t stopped us telling our readers to vote Green.

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  51. Whaleoil (650 comments) says:

    Tāne your excuses are hollow.

    Independent, yeah right. Hosted by labour, bandwidth paid for by Labour.

    haven’t voted Labour, don’t vote Labour, don’t work for labour…..but conveniently someone gave you some server space…..Hollow excuses from hollow men.

    You must have been lying when you said it cost $10 a month for hosting. Your we either lying then or you are lying now, or here’s a thought you lie all the time.

    Hollow man.

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  52. Sushi Goblin (419 comments) says:

    I need some taxpayer funded server space as well. Does anyone know who I can talk to?

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  53. reid (16,700 comments) says:

    Good idea Sushi, me too. I’ll see if I can find the Propaganda Ministry in the phone book.

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  54. reid (16,700 comments) says:

    I can’t seem to find it Sushi. Tane, I have an idea for an objective, neutral “truth machine” zat vil influence the masses. Can you give me the number of your ISP?

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  55. PhilBest (4,757 comments) says:

    Remember what those partisan bastards in the news media did to the “cost of consultants” when the Nats were trying to reform the health system? Come on, guys, show you’ve got SOME honest bones in your bodies, by getting off your arses and doing some real scrutiny of the kind of wastage thats been going on since, not on reforms, but on perpetuating the failed ways of the past.

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  56. PhilBest (4,757 comments) says:

    And then spending big on spin doctors to keep the masses fooled. While the media sits on their partisan arses.

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  57. john (248 comments) says:

    TANE tane,always posting ,defending lying arseholes, you must sigh at the creeps you defend in your posts,(you get paid well for it) ps whats the liar claark that rules us going to do about all the CHILD killings the beatings of TOURESTS and the general PUBLIC you know the SHIT thats destroying the fabric of our country TANE?????????tane , king of the forest ,,um?? i know a new law under witchy (gay rights for the whales) that will take the plebes minds of all the beatings and killings ps folks dont go out on a Saturdaynight ,under LIARBOR you might get a bash, im not joking. john

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  58. Inventory2 (9,380 comments) says:

    Reid said “Maybe you don’t remember Muldoon’s “Orchids and other things” Sunday talk-back radio show?”

    I do remember Reid – and sorry to go all anal on you, but it was actually LILLIES and Other Things. Who would have thought it eh, the old tusker loved his lillies!

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  59. Rex Widerstrom (5,013 comments) says:

    The primary topic of the post seems to have been understandably almost forgotten in the furore over the Standard. Which is a pity.

    448 people, each of their worth an average of $104,910?!

    When I worked for NZF I averaged nine major speeches a week and six media releases a day (anyone thinking that’s idle boasting can refer to Tom Scott’s column in the Listener of 22 June 1996). So let’s be generous and say that, allowing for long Parliamentary recesses etc I kept that up for 40 weeks a year, and issued no releases on the weekends. That’s 360 speeches and 1,200 media releases a year. And I wasn’t on $100,000+ since it was a taxpayer-funded job and I (naively, in retrospect) believed that if one chose to work in the public sector one should not expect private sector salaries.

    What a journalist needs to do is count up the number of releases issued by one of these agencies (usually archived on their web sites) and divide them by the number of “communications consultants / advisors / managers / co-ordinators” in that agency.

    Since some of the lower echelons (Communications Co-ordinators etc) would probably be on somewhere between $40k and $50k, there’ll be some who are earning close to a Cabinet Minister’s salary (though without the perks of course). At that kind of money, it not unreasonable for taxpayers to expect some accountability.

    And DPF, though you neatly slid past Jum’s question about the National Party’s spin doctors, given the fact that a percentage of these highly paid communications people will undoubtedly have been appointed because of who they know rather than what they know, what will National do? Clear house? Keep them all? Try and find a way to measure outputs and decide who’s actually worth this kind of money?

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  60. Richard Hurst (885 comments) says:

    There is something I would like to point out about the poster “Jum’.
    ‘Jum’, (I don’t know her/his real name) admitted standing for Labour in a previous election. I asked which seat, but she/he wouldn’t say. This was on Colin Espiners blog hosted by the Press. I think Jum is a women due to an obession displayed in the past about womens rights and how great Helen Clark is becuase she’s a women PM. Oddly enough Jum has never said that about Jenny Shipley. Jum is without doubt on the Labour party email tree.

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  61. Dan (39 comments) says:

    Hosting, FYI:

    $5.95USD per month for 500GB storage and 5 Terabytes of bandwidth per month.

    https://dreamhost.com/hosting.html

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  62. Lee C (2,720 comments) says:

    47 million a year on Spin Doctors. In the real world I like to see that amount going into real doctors.

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  63. Jum (137 comments) says:

    Rex Widerstrom

    Thank you for taking up the cudgel on my behalf, on National Party spin doctors.

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  64. Jum (137 comments) says:

    RICHARD HURST

    I was so poisoned by my experience on David Farrer’s blogsite that I had a few days off to get back my equilibrium. I hook back in and whose name do I see – yours telling LIES about me.

    Check out my post on Colin Espiner’s blog 30/10 @ 5.01pm (Maharey’s Resignation has a Silver Lining for Clark) saying that while I thought it was a huge compliment that you seemed to think I was a Labour MP, that I was unfortunately not, (and would never be one, because I would never be courageous enough to absorb the filth that would be directed at me by the opposition, as I am experiencing slightly now). This has only reinforced my respect for Helen Clark, and my contempt for the gutter politics that National Act is resorting to. I

    Apart from the fact that your vicious gossiping and lying about me needs an apology on this site and Colin Espiner’s site and The Standard site, which has more heart and soul to it, than kiwiblog will ever have, I request that David Farrer castigate you for your underhanded manner and your deliberate lying about me if he wishes anyone to take his political objectivity seriously, henceforth.

    The only obsession I have about women’s rights is that they are treated equally under the law and in pay and in human rights. I have a huge amount of respect for what Helen Clark (and Michael Cullen I might add) have done for this country since Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson almost ripped out the heart and soul of wonderful average (like me) Kiwis.

    Richard, I will NEVER have anything good to say about Jenny Shipley who singlehandedly destroyed a decent, humane medical system for pregnant women.
    Jenny Shipley is a perfect example of women with children who have less humanity than Helen Clark who chose not to have children, because she wanted to lead New Zealand to a more inclusive society.

    I have an obsession, yes, for women who want to lift our country up and, yes, I do believe they are the only people as lynchpins in families, and companies and churches and government who can do that and more importantly WANT to do that, in conjunction with like-minded men, for New Zealanders, ALL New Zealanders.

    I am not a Labour Party member. I have no idea what this Labour Party Email tree is, and I suggest very strongly, Richard, that you cease stalking me across blog sites and spreading lies. Apart from the compliment of being linked to Labour, the party which should lead us into 2009 and beyond, I realise that you are using lies to try and frighten me off posting. Seriously, it would be wise for you to stop.

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  65. Jum (137 comments) says:

    Correction – one or two churches

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